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Skyzoo, The Great Debater

Bucktown’s native son Skyzoo has embodied the New York underground for years, dropping the spectacular The Salvation in 2009 and 2010’s Live From The Tapedeck. Continuing his upward momentum, Sky releases The Great Debater mixtape.

Showing no signs of slowing down, “the writer of writers” gets things moving with the vintage dust boom-bap of “Complicated Rhythm,” then smoothly rides over the stutter-step soul of “Designer Drugs” and the go-go-style bongo drums of “We Here” before reuniting with his Live From The Tapedeck co-conspirator !llmind on “Atypical” and “Test Drive.”

A fully capable emcee, Sky is great over backdrops inspired by the underground heyday of the mid-nineties. While that serves best for his triple-entendre metaphorical poetics on tracks such as “Parade Me” where he spits, “My pen theory is fine as Amel Larrieux/On the page you can see that design all up in the groove,” it is when he steps outside of his box on tracks like the N*E*R*D-sampling “Could’ve Struck The Lotto” and the wanton usage of David Axelrod’s “Holy Thursday” on “The Definitive Prayer” where Skyzoo is at his best. The Great Debater is another solid album in the growing catalogue of corner store classics from Brooklyn’s finest. —Meka Udoh

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